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Proceedings Paper

Spectral characterization as a tool for parchment analysis
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Paper Abstract

The paper presents an investigation on the correlation between spectral characteristics and conservation conditions of parchment to define a NON invasive methodology able to detect and monitor deterioration process in historical parchment without the need of taking small samples. To verify the feasibility and define the most appropriate measurement method, several samples of contemporary parchments, produced following ancient recipes and coming from different animal species, with different degrees of artificially induced damage, were analyzed. The SRF and STF of each sample were measured in the same point, before and after each step of the artificial ageing treatment. Having at disposal a parchment coming from a whole lamb leather, allowed also the study of the correlations between the variations of SRF – STF and the intrinsic factors of a parchment like the variability of animal skin anatomy and of manufacturing. Analyzing different samples allowed also the definition of the measuring method sensitivity and of reference spectrum for the different animal species parchments with accuracy limits. The definition of a reference spectrum of not damaged parchment with acceptability limits is a necessary step for understanding, through SRF – STF measurements, historical parchments conservation conditions: indeed it is necessary to know if deviations from the reference spectrum are ascribable to damage or only to parchment anatomic/production variability. As a case study, the method has been applied to two historical parchment scrolls stored at the Archivio di Stato di Torino (Italy). The SRF - STF of both scrolls was acquired in several points of the scroll, the average spectrum of each scroll was compared with the reference spectra with the relative tolerance limits, recognizing the animal species and damage alterations and demonstrating the feasibility of the method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 June 2015
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9527, Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V, 95270N (30 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2184724
Show Author Affiliations
Michela Radis, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (Italy)
Paola Iacomussi, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (Italy)
Giuseppe Rossi, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9527:
Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V
Luca Pezzati; Piotr Targowski, Editor(s)

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